Pakistan won’t use Nuclear Weapons first, PM Khan says amid tension with India

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said his country will not use nuclear weapons first, the Reuters reported. Khan’s comment comes amid tension between India and Pakistan over the scrapping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the bifurcation of the state into two Union territories.

“We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these tensions increase, the world could be in danger,” Mr Khan said addressing members of the Sikh community in eastern city of Lahore.

“There will be no first from our side ever,” he was quoted.

Last month, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had underscored that India reserves the right to change its policy of ‘No First Use’, which has been the cornerstone of India’s nuclear weapons policy for decades.

The government firmly stands by its ‘No First Use’ policy but “what happens in future will depend on the circumstances,” the minister had said.

Over the Kashmir move last month, Pakistan had downgraded its trade relations with India and expelled the Indian envoy. India had said that its decisions in Kashmir was an internal matter.

Pakistan had also approached the United Nations Security Council seeking its intervention in the matter. After a closed-door meeting, most of the members of the council had supported India’s stand that Kashmir was a bilateral issue between the two countries.

In an article for The New York Times last week, Mr. Khan wrote that India’s move was an “assault on Kashmir and its people”. He also claimed that a military escalation between the nuclear powers was imminent unless global powers intervene in the matter.

At a G-7 meeting in France last month, PM Modi had reiterated India’s stand that Kashmir was a bilateral issue.

“There are many bilateral issues between India and Pakistan, and we don’t want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally,” PM Modi had said.

Source : Various